ByChloe Henry, writer at
Fate. Destiny. Luck. The prisons of man. People pass the time, enjoying the choices life provides... As if it matters.
Chloe Henry

In February 2013, a 21-year-old student from Vancouver, Canada, named Elisa Lam was found dead inside the Cecil Hotel’s main rooftop water tank in Los Angeles. The L.A. County Department of Coroner ruled the death “accidental due to drowning” and said no traces of drugs or alcohol were found during the autopsy. However, there are many creepy parts to this case that are yet to be completely solved...

The last known footage of Elisa Lam was posted to YouTube, and contains some bizarre footage. Firstly, Elisa enters the elevator and seems to press all it's buttons, then waits for the door to close; when nothing happens, she starts looking around like she's expecting someone. She hides in the corner of the elevator and steps out looking both ways. At around 1:57 she starts moving her hands in large, weird gestures, like she's talking to someone; even though there is clearly nobody there. A little later she walks off, and the elevator seems to be working again. She may have just been trying to get the motion sensors above the elevator to work, but it's still quite odd. There is also a few seconds of footage missing from the video; what happened during this time? Did she see something we can't?

Two weeks later, her body was found in the hotel's water tank, after guests complained that the water tasted "funny" and "sweetly disgusting" as well as the pressure of the water. A maintenance worker went up to the rooftop to check the tanks, and found the decaying, naked body of Elisa Lam.

The water tank could only be reached by one of two ways: the rooftop door, which can only be accessed by employees, as an alarm goes off to notify the hotel when someone is on the rooftop. Or the fire escape, which is plausible. However, even though the hotel staff claim the water tank was left unlocked, it doesn't explain how she managed to climb or be put in there, as the emergency services had to cut a bigger hole to pull her out!

Elisa Lam was supposedly bipolar, so that could play some part in her odd behavior. The autopsy of her body concluded that no drugs or alcohol played any part in her death, so the mystery of her demise still remains unsolved.

Were her strange actions caused by hallucinations? Or something more sinister?

The Cecil Hotel has a dark history...

The hotel that Elisa died at has a wide history of murders and suicides:

“Part of its sordid history, involves two serial killers, Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger.

Now on death row, Ramirez, labeled “the Nightstalker”, was living at the Cecil Hotel in 1985, in a top floor room. He was charged 14 dollars a night. In a building filled with transients, he remained unnoticed as he stalked and killed his 13 female victims. Richard Schave, said “He was dumping his bloody clothes in the Dumpster, at the end of his evening and returned via the back entrance.”

Jack Unterweger, was a journalist covering crime in Los Angeles for an Austrian magazine in 1991. “We believe he was living at the Cecil Hotel in homage to Ramirez,” Schave said.

He is blamed with killing three prostitutes in Los Angeles, while being a guest at the Cecil.

In the 50’s and 60’s the Cecil was known as a place that people would go to jump out of one of the hotel’s windows to commit suicide.

Helen Gurnee, in her 50s, leaped from a seventh floor window, landing on the Cecil Hotel marquee, on October 22, 1954.

Julia Moore jumped from her eighth floor room window, on February 11, 1962.

Pauline Otton, 27, jumped from a ninth floor window after an argument with her estranged husband, on October 12, 1962. Otton landed on George Gianinni, 65, who was walking on the side walk, 90 feet below. Both were killed instantly.

There was also a murder of one of the residents. “Pigeon Goldie” Osgood, a retired telephone operator, known for protecting and feeding pigeons in a nearby park, was found dead in his ransacked room on June 4, 1964. He had been stabbed, strangled, and raped. The crime still remains unsolved.”

– Las Vegas Guardian Express, Elisa Lam, Morbid History Of Two Serial Killers Unfolds At “Cecil Hotel”

There are also two chillingly creepy coincidences that link Elisa's death to the hotel and the area surrounding it...

1. Dark Water:

Black Water- Google Images
Black Water- Google Images

The story of Elisa Lam and her death is quite similar to the 2005 horror movie Dark Water. Dahlia, the protagonist of the movie moves into an apartment with her daughter Cecilia. The names of the characters are partly relevant. Black Dahlia is the nickname given to Elizabeth Short, a woman who was the victim of a the famous "Black Dahila Murder" in 1947. According to LA Observed, it is rumored that Elizabeth Short was at Cecil Hotel right before she was murdered.

Google Images
Google Images

The name of the protagonist's daughter, Cecilia; is also quite similar to the name of the hotel.

Google Images
Google Images

After moving into their apartment, Dahlia notices dark water leaking from the ceiling in her bathroom. She then discovers that a young girl by the name of Natasha Rimsky drowned in the building’s rooftop water tank, which caused the water to turn black. The owner of the building knew about this, but refused to do anything about it. Elisa Lam’s body was decaying in the water tank for two weeks, causing hotel guests to complain about foul tasting “black water”.

Another part of the movie is also definitely relevant, The apartment building's elevator malfunctions! Just like what happened to Elisa before she started acting strange...

2. Tuberculosis Outbreak:

Shortly after the discovery of Elisa's body, a deadly outbreak of tuberculosis occurred in Skid Row, near the Hotel where she was found. The test kit used in these kinds of situations is also a creepy coincidence, considering the name of the kit is LAM-ELISA! That's just insane...

Since Elisa's death, the hotel has changed its name to Stay on Main Hotel and Hostel, was it because of incidents like this?

Whether this is just all coincidence, or eerily connected somehow; I don't think we'll ever know...

Thanks to and YouTube for all this interesting information!


What do you think happened to Elisa Lam?

Do you think you know what happened to her? Let me know in the comments!


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